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Sport-by-sport BUCS Nationals preview 15/02/2017

It’s that time of the year again – the moment when over 6,000 students descend on the city of Sheffield for BUCS Nationals.

Now in its fifth year, the competition once again returns to the Steel City with nine individual BUCS Championship sports events set to take place across different venues during the course of this weekend.

It all kicks off Friday with athletics, badminton, swimming, fencing and judo all on offer before another two days of action-packed sport culminates with the final medals being award on Sunday evening.

To help you out, we’re filling you in on what to expect from each sport over the weekend, and where to catch them…

Athletics

One of the highlights of the BUCS Nationals weekend, this year’s Indoor Athletics Championships will see close to 1200 athletes take to the track and field across three days of competition.

Look out for the likes of Cameron Chalmers, the latest crop of BUCS stars already following in the footsteps of the likes of Adam Gemili, CJ Ujah and Martyn Rooney.

Where: English Institute of Sport

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Badminton

The fastest racket sport on the planet, this year’s Badminton Individual Championships looks set to be one of the most hotly-contested sports of the weekend, with more than 700 players taking to the court.

Lyddia Cheah (University of Derby) and Alex Lane (University of Bath) are both back to defend their women’s and men’s singles crowns respectively, while Greg Mairs and Jenny Moore (Loughborough University) will be searching for their third mixed doubles title on the trot.

Where: English Institute of Sport

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Climbing

More than 500 athletes will look to ascend to BUCS glory at The Climbing Works on Saturday, with just one night of competition needed to decide this year’s champions.

Last year’s men’s podium topper Billy Ridal is back to defend his title while Jennifer Wood looks to improve on her 2016 silver, in what could be another University of Sheffield versus Sheffield Hallam battle for the team silverware.

Where: The Climbing Works

When: Saturday

Fencing

Just shy of 600 fencers will be ‘en garde’ this weekend as they prepare to take to the piste in pursuit of the coveted BUCS title.

The action all gets underway on Friday morning with the men’s Epee and women’s Sabre, before culminating on Sunday with the men’s Foil and women’s Epee.

Names such as last year’s Team GB Olympians James Davis and Laurence Halstead have both strutted their stuff on the BUCS scene in the past so keep your eyes peeled for the next batch of stars.

Where: Graves Tennis Centre

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Judo

Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons and Commonwealth champion Natalie Powell are just two of the big names to graduate from the BUCS Judo Championships, but there are plenty more waiting in the wings, ready to make their name on the mat.

Last year’s champions Emmanuel Nartey (-73kg) and Rhys Thompson (-100kg) go in search of back-to-back titles, while British Championships bronze medallist Olivia Piechota makes her BUCS Nationals bow.

Where: All Saints Sports College

When: Saturday and Sunday

Karate

Exactly 472 athletes will compete on the mat on both Saturday and Sunday hoping to land one of the many karate titles on offer.

With two BUCS bronze medals to his name, Panayiotis Loizides is hoping 2017 will be the year he climbs further up the podium, while fellow University of Sheffield student Lisa Brocklesby also chases an upgrade to her third place finish.

Where: Ponds Forge

When: Saturday and Sunday

Rifle

The smallest sport on the BUCS Nationals programme, this year’s competition will see just 70 shooters appear on the range in Chesterfield for the Short Range Rifle Championships.- but that does not mean it will be short on drama.

Last year’s competition saw the University of Edinburgh come out on top in the team event, with Southampton and Newcastle hot on their heels, and they will be looking for a repeat come the weekend.

Where: Staveley Shooting Ground

When: Saturday and Sunday

Swimming

This year’s BUCS Long Course Championships will welcome 1,158 competitors from 92 institutions to Ponds Forge, with Olympians Adam Peaty, Jazz Carlin, James Guy and Siobhan O’Connor all competing as guests of honour.

You can also expect to see fellow Team GB stars Tim Shuttleworth and Max Litchfield – the latter of whom will go head-to-head with his brother, Joe – all representing their respective universities in the pool.

Where: Ponds Forge

When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Trampolining

Trampolining hit national headlines last summer when 2012 and 2013 BUCS Ladies Champion Bryony Page won Olympic silver in Rio, and there are plenty of athletes ready to keep the hype rolling.

Keep an eye out for Cardiff’s Zainub Akbar, last year’s Ladies champion, who has recently stepped up into the Great Britain senior squad alongside Page and the rest of the Rio squad.

Where: ICE Sheffield

When: Saturday and Sunday

 

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